Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 15/ New Regimen

Happy 2010!

Today my regimen has changed. I started my Taz journey on Dec. 18, 2009. Since this was my first time going to this derm (just moved to another state) he wanted to try antibiotics for 6 weeks since I've never been on an antibiotic regimen before.... but he doesn't plan on keeping me on antibiotics since my skin has reacted relatively well to topical solutions in the past.

Okay, so my regimen from Dec. 18, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009 was - 100 mg Minocycline (twice daily) and Taz (.05 cream) at night only.
Starting today through the next 4 week my regimen will be - 100 mg Minocycline (once daily) and Taz (.1 cream) at night only.

Up to this point, I notice that black heads that were underneath the skin extract all by themselves with no pain or blood. I've had 4 or 5 pimples come up but they went away very quickly. It seems the skin turnover happens fairly quick, which makes me happy. Since, I don't have cystic acne, the Taz is helping the pimples that do pop up go away in the next day or so. But I'm not discouraged because I know this product makes the skin purge within the first 12 weeks.

I've been very pleased with the lightening of the dark spots. When I woke up this morning, I noticed the only dry skin on my face were on the dark spots..... almost like the product is resurfacing my skin. The spots are getting lighter and lighter everyday.

Because of the good results so far, I'm looking forward to starting the stronger version this evening... and I'm so happy that my days of taking oral meds are coming to an end. It's only been two weeks, but I feel like giving up already.... but I'm going to stick it out.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 14/ Happy New Year's

I don't have much time to write a long blog entry or post pics as promised, but I wanted to drop a short note about the progress of my skin using Tazorac.

This morning, I woke up to about 7 whiteheads on the right side of my face. I saw this coming earlier in the week because they were under the skin. They aren't large, just small little whiteheads. Any other time, I would be discouraged but I know that when using Taz, my skin may get worse before it gets better.

Overall, I'm still pleased because the spots are fading. I went out last night and only used powder and no concealer. My overall complexion appeared smoother even though you could still see the dark spots. I can't wait until I can go back to the days of not using any makeup.

Tomorrow (per the derm's advisement), my regime will change. I will only be taking 100 mg of Minocycline once a day and changing from .05 Taz cream to .1 Taz cream. This regime will go on for 4 weeks until it's time for me to visit the derm again.

I'm excited about using the stronger Taz cream cause I want to get the initial bad breakout OVER. I know it's coming, but when?

Also, I want to note that I do not have pits in my face. My scarring is simply hyperpigmented skin where the pimples once were. My scars are ONLY on the surface level. And I have moderate acne. I do not get CYSTIC acne. This may be the wrong blog for you to follow if you're wondering if Taz works on cystic acne. I won't be able to attest to that.

Until next time... be safe this New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 12

This morning when I woke up, I was really surprised. The dark spots on my face seem to be fading. I noticed it yesterday, but I thought it was a figment of my imagination... so I decided not to post to make sure I wasn't being tricked! Nothing drastic but I can see a difference. The overall texture of my skin is improving despite the unsightly scars. Note: when I say "scars" I don't have pits in my face. My scarring is on the surface level ONLY. What I mean by "texture" is there aren't any raised bumps. Also, I'm not feeling anything underneath my skin. That's why I really wanted to use Tazorac because many African American users say that it worked wonders for the scarring.

I had 2 new VERRRRRRY small pimples on my right cheek and 2 small ones that surfaced on my forehead, but all 4 are gone and never hurt.

I've also noticed that my skin burns just a little when patting my face dry after washing... but it doesn't hurt. I only notice it because of all the testimonials I've read. It's so minimal that I probably wouldn't notice it if I never did any research before using Tazorac. Also, I notice when I wake up in the morning my skin is appearing to be drier. Many Taz users put moisturizer on their skin before applying it. My derm advised me not to use moisturizer before applying Taz... but if my skin is SUPER dry, I can. On the other hand, I can't handle dry skin during the day, so I do use moisturizer after after washing my face in the morning.

As far as the Minocycline... If it's supposed to calm the breakouts down, it's definitely doing that. I guess I won't know the difference until I stop using it. I'm also on Ortho Tricycline BCP... not intentionally for skincare purposes, but I'm sure there's some sort of benefit.

I'm going to post new pics at 14 days... I don't think you'll see that much of a change... but I want you to be able to see the progress.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day 8/ Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everybody!
Today marks day 8 since I've started using Tazorac (0.05 cream). Up to this point, I've noticed that my overall complexion is smoother and not as bumpy. The scarring is still there but it hasn't gotten any darker. One thing I noticed this week was when I washed my faced and after patting it dry, I noticed little black heads that roll out the pores on their own. I guess this is a good thing and may be the beginning of the skin purge that many Tazorac users say they went through when starting their Tazorac regime. I also have one small pimple on my forehead that's new. Overall, I'm pleased so far. I know it has to get worse before it gets better, so I'm waiting... but no complaints thus far!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Week 1/ Day 4

As I said in my first post, I've made a commitment to blog my journey using Tazorac. My main purpose in doing this is to give African Americans, in particular, a visual of how this product can work for them. I decided to ask my derm about Tazorac after doing weeks of research about a product that may work for black skin because ethnic skin that's acne prone tends to scar a lot more than other skin types with less pigment.

During my research, I read many testimonials stating that Tazorac will take you through a serious skin purge and there may be several different reactions one may experience. The common statement made in more than 90 percent of the testimonials was, "STICK WITH IT!!!" I've read that this product works for the long haul but it has to be used everyday NO MATTER WHAT! The only thing is most of the stories don't come with pictures... so that's why I've made the commitment to document my journey to better skin. In every post, I will add information about Tazorac, how I'm feeling and what's going on with my skin. I will be completely honest and true... NO MATTER WHAT!

I began using Tazorac on Friday, December 18, 2009. Below are some pics of how my skin looks today on Day 4. My skin isn't peeling, dry or burning. Everything is normal so far. I've noticed the texture of my skin looks smoother and the dark spots are fading gradually. When I used concealer the other day, I noticed the spots disappear completely. I'm happy so far.

From December 18, 2009 to January 1, 2010 my skincare regime will be:
Minocycline 100MG (2 capsules/day, morning and night), and Tazorac (0.05 cream) at night only.

I wash my face with Cetaphil Antibaterial Cleanser (bar) in the morning and moisturize with Cetaphil lotion. At night, I do the same thing but add a pea size of Tazorac 0.05 (cream) evenly across my face after moisturizing.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 1/ Days 1-3

Here's my story...

I'm a 27-year-old African American woman with acne. I've had acne for 12 years. Although my acne hasn't been consistently TERRIBLE over the course of those 12 years, I've had some sort of acne on my face.

At 15, I first noticed acne appearing on my cheeks. At that time, Proactiv Solution hit the market. Like millions of acne sufferers, I bought the "miracle cure" so I could finally have my face back. Within one day, the miracle potion worked and I was very satisfied. Proactiv continued to give me remarkable results year after year. I was couldn't have been happier.

By the time I turned 21, I laid off using Proactiv because I was in college and couldn't keep up with paying for the products. After a couple of years of not using the product and having clear skin, I began having breakouts on my cheeks. Therefore, I purchased Proactiv again hoping for the same results I experienced in high school. Lo' and behold, after applying the "miracle" potion, my face began to flare up. My face turned red, itchy and very swollen. I was in tears, it hurt so bad. I was in shock because this never happened before. I called Proactiv to find out the root of the problem and they advised me to continue using the product until the issue subsided. I knew I couldn't keep using it, so I laid off for a few days and tried again. The same results occurred so I realized that I was now allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide - a facial bleach that kills the bacteria that causes acne.

I was completely afraid of using anything on my skin again, so I resorted to birth control. The birth control method worked for me. My acne subsided and topically, I would use a Clindamycin liquid after washing my face and before moisturizing. This technique worked for several more years. At 25, I stopped taking birth control because they started to bother my stomach and I also stopped using Clindamycin. For the next 2 years I washed my skin with normal skincare washes and moisturized everyday without any breakouts. Yayyyy me!

About 6 months ago, my acne began to flare up like CRAZY. Now the pimples were beginning to form near my mouth (which I hate) and on my chin in addition to my cheeks. I also noticed that I had a lot of blackheads and things going on underneath the skin that would never surface. I recently got married on November 7, 2009 and tried everything to make my acne clear up for the wedding - Vitamin E, Organic cleansers, Astringents and so on... Nothing worked. I took a couple of make-up courses so I could cover the acne on my wedding day but I knew what was underneath.

After the wedding, I began doing hardcore research about something that would have lasting effects for ethnic skin types. Not only did I find many African Americans who were pleased with Tazorac, but many other races as well. The one thing I didn't find were many picture testimonies of how their skin looked before, during and after. I really liked what I found out about Tazorac and decided to ask my doctor about prescribing it for me. I just moved to another state, so this was the first time I visited with this derm and he thought my suggestion was perfect. Therefore, I started using Tazorac on Friday, December 18, 2009.

My current regime: Minocycline 100MG (2 capsules/day, morning and night), and Tazorac at night only.

I wash my face with Cetaphil Antibaterial Cleanser (bar) in the morning and moisturize with Cetaphil lotion. At night, I do the same thing but add a pea size of Tazorac 0.05 (cream) evenly across my face after moisturizing.

I've made a commitment to keep up with my journey so other people (of all skin colors) can see how this stuff works. In each post, I will add more and new information I find out about the product. I will also keep you posted on when I go to the derm and what when my regime changes.